After winning a franchise record 59 games this season, Raptors head coach Dwane Casey has been fired; per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. This comes after Casey was voted the NBA Coach of the Year just two days ago.
Casey coached the Raptors for seven seasons, and made the playoffs the last five. However, he only was able to make the Conference Finals once out of those five years. His total record in the regular season for the Raptors was 320-238, while his playoff record was 21-30.
Here’s Dwane Casey’s season by season breakdown with the Raptors.
2011-2012: 23-43, missed playoffs
2012-2013: 34-48, missed playoffs
2013-2014: 48-34, lost first round
2014-2015: 49-33, lost first round
2015-2016: 56-26, lost conference finals
2016-2017: 51-31, lost conference semi finals
2017-2018: 59-23, lost conference semi finals
Here’s a statement from Raptors President Masai Ujiri on the firing of Casey:
Statement from Raptors president Masai Ujiri on Coach Dwane Casey’s firing: pic.twitter.com/FT4m0tSfEr
— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) May 11, 2018
Now that the Raptors have moved on from Casey, the two potential replacements are clear: Mike Budenholzer and Jerry Stackhouse
Budenholzer, the former Hawks head coach, is believed to be the Raptors first choice to replace Casey as head coach. Under Mike Budenholzer, the Hawks made the playoffs in four of his five seasons, and made the conference finals once. In the season where they made the conference finals (2014-2015), the Hawks had a 60-22 record, and had four all-stars (Al Horford, Paul Millsap, Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver).
Stackhouse was an assistant coach for the Raptors during the 2015-2016 season, before becoming the head coach of Raptors 905, the Raptors G-League affiliate. In 2017, Stackhouse won the D-League championship with the Raptors 905, and also took home D-League coach of the year.
If I had to guess today, I would say that the Raptors are probably going to hire Mike Budenholzer. Budenholzer is a great coach, and has experience as an NBA head coach, something that Jerry Stackhouse doesn’t have. The Raptors certainly are in a win-now mode, so hiring an experienced coach would make the most sense.